Maine’s Supreme Court refuses to hear Donald Trump’s ballot case

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The highest court in Maine has chosen not to get involved in the controversy surrounding whether former President Donald Trump should be listed on the state’s primary ballot.

Instead, they have decided to uphold a judge’s ruling which defers the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court’s verdict on a similar case in Colorado.

Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, who is a Democrat, had concluded that Trump did not fulfill the requirements for inclusion on the ballot due to the insurrection clause in the U.S. Constitution.

Pending the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Colorado case, a judge had temporarily suspended this decision.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court unanimously rejected Bellows’ appeal and upheld the necessity to wait for the U.S. Supreme Court’s verdict before making any decisions regarding Trump’s eligibility for inclusion or exclusion from the primary ballot, which was scheduled for Super Tuesday.

“The Secretary of State suggests that there is irreparable harm because a delay in certainty about whether Trump’s name should appear on the primary ballot will result in voter confusion. This uncertainty is, however, precisely what guides our decision not to undertake immediate appellate review in this particular case,” the court said.

The court’s decision not to immediately review Trump’s ballot status was based on their concern over potential voter confusion caused by the delay.

In December, Bellows became the first election official to declare Trump ineligible for a primary ballot due to the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause.

The Colorado Supreme Court reached a similar conclusion. Timing is crucial as Maine’s primary is approaching and overseas ballots have already been sent out.

On February 8, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on the Colorado case. Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits individuals involved in insurrection from holding office, has never been addressed by the highest court in the country.

Some legal scholars argue that this clause could be applicable to Trump based on his alleged actions after losing to Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, including inciting his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol.

Trump argues that Bellows should have recused herself due to alleged bias against him, claiming that her actions unfairly prevented Maine voters from having a say in the matter and were part of a larger scheme to keep him off the ballot.

Bellows, who was elected by the Democratic-controlled Legislature, asserts that state law required her to address challenges to Trump’s eligibility and promises to abide by the court’s final decision.

As Trump pursues his bid for the GOP nomination in his quest for a rematch against President Joe Biden, he now turns his attention towards taking the ballot battle to the Supreme Court.

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